The History of the Vets as told by Vets President Ronnie Alder
Formed in 1958, The Stock Exchange Veterans is today a registered charity dedicated to helping individuals and other charities in need of financial assistance.
Our foundations are humble but proud.
In the beginning a group of Stock Exchange people formed a Veterans football team called “Slaters Strollers”. They used to have a morning drink in Slaters in Throgmorton Street. Among them were “Tiny” Turpin England amateur goalkeeper, Bill York, Albert Palmer, Lew Perry and “Ginger” Mann. They played friendlies with several other vets teams but when they applied to compete in the Stock Exchange cup they were refused because their name was not of a “Stock Exchange Origin”. They promptly changed their title to Stock Exchange Veteran Footballers, were accepted and their first match was against Smith Brothers.
Over the next few years the team prospered playing friendlies, not only football but cricket under the captaincy of Ronald “Jimmy James”. A darts tournament and golf also became regular features.
In 1997 a colleague of mine, Tony Miller, and Chairman of Maidenhead Round Table asked if I could raise a team to play Dave King’s showbiz eleven in aid of an appeal. We turned out a good side with guest players George Cohen (England World Cup-winning right back) and Stanley Matthews junior and inflicted the first defeat of the season on the showbiz eleven.
After the match George Cohen asked us if we could help to raise money for his pet children’s charity. A dinner was held at Balls Brothers just over London Bridge with guest speakers Geoffrey Green, Football correspondent of “The Times”, “Legs” Diamond (Middlesex opening batsman) and Jimmy Greaves.
I auctioned a cricket bat signed by several prominent players which was bought by Tony Jenkins and promptly donated by him to a schoolmaster for his school. Donations continued the next morning and in the end there was enough to purchase two boats Sparkie One and Sparkie Two for George Cohen’s charity.
Next year we held a dinner at Lyons Oak Rooms in Throgmorton Street. By this time applications for grants were coming in from all quarters and we raised money by auctions, raffles and appeals. On the social side we also spent weekends at Butlins in Margate, held “Ladies Nights” and of course there was golf and darts.
We had a few happy years with The Grand Order of Water Rats who provided the entertainment for the charity dinners. The venue was now The Chartered Accountants Hall in Throgmorton Avenue. However, due to the popularity of the Vets dinner, a larger venue, The Brewery in Chiswell Street was needed. The dinners and events have continued and I hope they are able to do so.